ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (AP) – New Jersey casinos, racecourses offering sports betting, and online partners of both types of gambling outlets won $ 470.6 million from players in August, an increase by more than 10% from the previous year, according to figures released Friday by state gambling regulators.
The amount of cash won by in-person gamblers at casinos was nearly $ 274 million, up 4.4% from the previous year. But that total was still lagging behind its August 2019 level, before the coronavirus pandemic hit, when the total was over $ 286 million.
Returning to pre-pandemic levels for in-person gamblers has been the main focus of the nine Atlantic City casinos, regardless of whether the money from the internet and sports betting continues to grow.
These revenue streams are misleading, casino executives say, because casinos can’t keep all that money; it must be shared with third parties, including technology platforms and sports betting. According to some estimates, up to 70% of internet and sports betting money is not held by casinos.
“It’s been a great summer for Atlantic City and the region,” said James Plousis, president of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. “Recent efforts to create impressive in-person experiences will continue to provide positive momentum this fall.”
Comparing the results of the three summer months with the same period last year, Atlantic City casino winnings grew by more than 6% and the total game revenue exceeded $ 1.2 billion, up 9%. Plousis said.
Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, who studies the Atlantic City casino industry, called the August performance of the casinos “a solid demonstration.”
He noted that the casino winnings in person, while remaining below the pre-pandemic level of August 2019, have still surpassed every other August since 2015.
“The relatively slow growth in physical gaming revenue compared to the growing contribution of Internet gaming to total revenue could potentially suggest a shift in consumer behavior that does not cannibalize in-person gaming but includes significant Internet gaming activity,” he said. She said. “Less reliance on in-person gaming alone has the potential to keep the New Jersey casino industry competitive with its neighbors and make it more resilient to market disruptions that may occur in the future.”
For the month of August, five of the nine casinos saw an increase in the amount of money won compared to a year earlier. These are: Borgata (120.7 million dollars, up by over 29%); Hard Rock (nearly $ 54 million, up 2.8%); the Ocean Casino Resort (nearly $ 40 million, up nearly 14%); Bally’s (just over $ 20 million, up nearly 30%); and Resorts ($ 18.7 million, up 0.2%).
Four casinos reported a drop in revenue from a year earlier. They are: Golden Nugget ($ 44.5 million, down 2.7%); Tropicana ($ 35.1 million, down 7.8%); Harrah’s (just over $ 25 million, down 10.4%); and Caesars (just over $ 22 million, down nearly 13%).
The Borgata had its second best month ever in August, behind only $ 124 million won by gamblers in July. Both of these figures represent the highest totals ever achieved by an Atlantic City casino since legal gambling started here in 1978.
Among the Internet-only entities, Resorts Digital won $ 43.5 million, up nearly 26%, and Caesars Interactive NJ won $ 8.9 million, down 10%.
For the first eight months of this year, the casinos, circuits and their partners collectively won $ 3.38 billion, up 13.2% over the same period last year.
Casinos and racetracks raised $ 546.7 million in sports bets in August and withheld $ 65.2 million in revenue after paying off winning bets and other expenses. Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, just outside New York City, won $ 33.1 million; Freehold Raceway won $ 2.7 million and Monmouth Park in Oceanport near the Jersey Shore won $ 1.8 million.
Internet casino games earned $ 131.4 million in August, an increase of more than 16% over the previous year. On Wednesday, a state legislative panel indicated that New Jersey lawmakers are ready to extend online gambling authorization in the state for another 10 years, until 2033.
Follow Wayne Parry on Twitter: @WayneParryAC